What Health and Safety Regulations must Hotels follow?

Hotels, motels, casinos, ski lodges, resorts, and more all fall under the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) regulations for General Industry. The General Industry Standards are found in  Title 29 Section 1910 of the Code of Federal Regulations (29 CFR 1910) and refers to industries not included in agriculture, construction or maritime.

Classification under General Industry regulations requires hotels to comply with a wide range of standards including, providing appropriate hazardous communication training and personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep their employees safe while working on the job.  Hotels must also comply with OSHA recordkeeping requirements for recording work related employee injuries.

What are the most common health and safety violations within the hospitality industry?

Hotels have received violations for inadequate OSHA recordkeeping and failing to provide proper personal protective equipment for their staff. This is often found during OSHA inspections aimed at catching organization not following safety regulations.

Asian maid tidying up bed and cleaning luxury hotel room

"OSHA found 14 other-than-serious and 12 serious safety violations." 

According to an OSHA press release, OSHA found 14 other-than-serious and 12 serious safety violations during an inspection at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C., resulting in over $76,000 in fines. The popular hotel failed to report an employee's hospitalization during the required 24 hour period and did not properly maintain its OSHA 300 log.  Certain workers were not provided adequate PPE while using harsh chemical substances and cleaned with compressed air exceeding 30 pounds per inch. The hotel also exposed its employees to electrical and fall hazards.

"Each of these hazards leaves employees at the hotel exposed to unnecessary safety and health risks," Nadira Janack, director of OSHA's Baltimore Washington Area Office, explained. "Employers have a legal responsibility to protect workers on the job. Anything less is unacceptable."

Numerous organizations throughout North America rely on Vector EHS Management to record, track, and manage their safety data.

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What are the the safety challenges within the hospitality industry?

The hotel industry also faces some unique challenges in improving the health and safety of its employees.  Over the past ten to fifteen years, hotels have continued to shift towards more luxurious, heavier bedding and other amenities that can increase the risk of employee injury.  Housekeeping employees face the highest risk of injury as their workload can lead to strain, sprain and tears.  Slips, trips and falls also contribute to employee injuries in the hotel industry.

Recognizing these unique challenges to the hospitality industry, Cal/OSHA passed a directive effective July 1, 2018 focused on Hotel Housekeeping Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention.   This standard includes developing an injury, illness prevention program geared specifically to housekeeping musculoskeletal injuries, training employees on this program, and maintaining recordkeeping on this program.   A key component of this prevention program includes conducting work site evaluations and hazard risk assessments.

How can hotels improve safety?

Hotels can improve safety by focusing on mitigating the risks unique to their workers with best safety practices. We’ve listed three common tips below.

  1. Strengthen housekeeper training with an emphasis on safe practices and procedures for housekeeping job tasks and OSHA required training on fire and evacuation procedures, bloodborne pathogens training, and other compliance requirements.
  2. Conduct job safety analysis to determine and mitigate hazards inherent in the housekeeping and other hospitality jobs, and utilize job safety analysis software to track and trend on findings. Mitigation measures could include long handle mops or tools to assist with making beds.
  3. Utilize software tools like Vector EHS Management to track and manage OSHA recordkeeping, provide training content and documentation of training for your hospitality employees, and to manage and analyze your job safety tasks and hazards.

To remain in compliance with OSHA's standards and improve hotel safety, contact IndustrySafe today to learn more about how our environmental, health and safety (EHS) management software can help you keep your employees safe.

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